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Van Buren's Wilkerson finds his way to the Hogs

Former Pointer standout happy to have taken the JUCO route

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Landrey Wilkerson is ready to step on the field at Baum-Walker Stadium as a Hog.

“It’s gonna be breathtaking. I think about it sometimes, and you can’t take it for granted.”

It will be a moment a lifetime in the making. The Van Buren native had Diamond Hog dreams as a high school senior, but the Razorback staff didn’t see it. Yet.

“They pretty much told me I Needed to develop some more. At first I was devastated, disappointed. I was so young, I couldn’t see the bigger picture. Now, I’m so glad I didn’t go there out of high school and went to JUCO.”

Wilkerson went from a Pointer to a Roughrider, signing with Crowder College.

“They took a chance on me out of high school. I thought it was going to be great place to grow and develop,  but I didn’t know I was going to meet as many people as I did. I didn’t know that all the relationships I made were going to mean as much to me. It was a great experience I loved every minute of it.”

Wilkerson was a first-team All-American, setting the Crowder single-season home run record with 20 taters, all while helping the team to the JUCO World Series semifinals. But as he excelled on the field, off the field, some nerves set in.

“Even like halfway through my sophomore season I was just nervous, stressed, like where am I gonna end up, I should already be committed somewhere, schools aren’t talking to me. But it worked out.”

Finally, the offers came, including the one every kid in the Natural State grows up thinking of.

“At first I was like, this has been my dream you know. I talked to my dad, who’s always been so supportive, and right away he was like, let’s do it. It was a very humbling experience, a blessing.”

The hard-hitting outfielder has three years of eligibility remaining, and  will look to make noise immediately.

“They told me just come down there and everyone’s going to have to compete for a spot and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

And after taking the long, winding road to Fayetteville, Wilkerson is ready to relish every moment on the hill

“I’m gonna try to take everything in, and try not to get used to everything so early.”

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